Version Conversion

The Healthcare industry is being mandated by the Government and HIPAA legislation to convert from X12 version 4010 to version 5010. Most companies aren’t being mandated by the government to switch versions, but by their strongly influential Trading Partners.

I think back to the late nineties when version 4010 came out and what a struggle it was for many Trading Partners to convert to that version. Most EDI Coordinators are fearful of those same struggles when going from 4010 to 5010 or any other version. Converting from one version to another version doesn’t have to be a major headache.

There are two main areas of consideration during your Version Conversion project:  translation support and application support.  Most translators support multiple standards and versions. You may be required to upgrade to the latest release of the software to support the requested version. Functionality within the translator, such as EXTOL’s Version Conversion utility, may aid in building conversion maps. This feature looks at the original map and builds a new map based on the selected new version. If possible, try not to build the new maps from scratch.

The primary reason why Trading Partners (or government mandates) switch to higher versions of the standards is to take advantage of new or expanded data included in the EDI transaction. Theses changes need to be incorporated into your application data as well. Sometimes, this is the biggest obstacle. You need to decide what to do with new data and/or how to produce the newly required outbound data. The application databases may need to be modified to accommodate the data. Read Troy Lunt’s blog “ ‘Extend’ or ‘Expand’ the Database? ”  for recommendations on the modifications.

Version Conversion doesn’t have to be a headache, if you plan for it with support from your translator and your application.

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